The final act of the Le Mans Cup delivered Ferrari a fifth win of the season, although not quite enough to secure Paolo Ruberti the drivers' title, with Iron Lynx having already sealed the teams' title in the previous round.
The race in Portugal followed a different schedule to recent years, with the event taking place on Sunday morning. Perfect weather and ideal racing conditions, however, eliminated some of the variables which might have led to a shake-up in the general standings.
Punctures. Although the start proves fairly uneventful, lap two sees a collision that forces the No. 8 488 GT3 Evo 2020 - driven at that moment by Lancieri - into the pits to have a punctured tyre replaced. Leutwiler’s Porsche, leader of the provisional standings, experiences near-identical woes shortly before the race reaches its halfway point. The Ferrari crewed by the 'Iron Dames' Manuela Gostner and Dorian Pin, is thus able to capitalise on the incidents and establish a lead with a 40-second margin over the other two GT3 class entries in the Portuguese race, helped also by an excellent opening stint from the Italian.
Showdown. After the stop for refuelling, tyre changes and, more importantly, the driver swaps, the gap between the Iron Lynx no. 9 and no. 8 is significantly reduced, while the time separating Ruberti’s Ferrari and Andlauer’s Porsche remains unchanged, oscillating between two and three seconds. The young French driver Pin enters the race needing a win to secure second position in the general standings immediately ahead of her team-mate, while the Porsche needs merely to cross the finish-line to claim the title. Against such a backdrop, the three cars tackle the final thirty-minute race running nose to tail. On the 53rd lap, Ruberti and Andlauer both overtake Pin, who pulls into the pits after seeing a drop in lap times, withdrawing from the race. The battle between the pair is a fierce one, and not without contact, lasting until Ruberti is summoned into the pits for a one-second Stop & Go for not respecting the mandatory pit stop times. The Ferrari stop is followed by that of the Porsche. However, the stop proves to be a lengthier than that of its Maranello counterpart. Ruberti's 488 GT3 Evo 2020 is thus eventually able to cross the finish-line alone ahead of the Porsche to guarantee second place in the championship, 10 points behind newly-crowned champion Nicolas Leutwiler.